July 11 -- When it was completed in 2013, the London Array was the largest offshore wind farm in the world, designed to produce a gigawatt of electricity. In April of this year, Google GOOGL +0.67% announced that it had contracted for that much renewable energy over the course of seven different purchase agreements since 2011—the largest one being the most recent purchase agreement for 407 megawatts of wind-sourced power from MidAmerican Energy Company to supply its data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
One gigawatt was almost 20 percent of the wind power capacity for the whole state of Iowa in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Renewable energy seems like a natural solution for data centers, which are notoriously electricity hungry. Not surprisingly, the purchase of large contracts and certificates by big tech companies to green their images is driving a new wave of interest in renewable energy. But will utilities need to significantly expand their capacity to meet this demand? >>View Article